George BlackApr 23, 2023
The Long Reckoning
A Story of War, Peace, and Redemption in Vietnam
The American war in Vietnam has left many long-lasting scars that have not yet been sufficiently examined. The worst of them were inflicted in a tiny area bounded by the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Trail in neighboring Laos. That small region saw the most intense aerial bombing campaign in history, the massive use of toxic chemicals, and the heaviest casualties on both sides.
In The Long Reckoning: A Story of War, Peace, and Redemption in Vietnam (Knopf, 2023), George Black recounts the inspirational story of the small cast of characters—veterans, scientists, and Quaker-inspired pacifists, and their Vietnamese partners—who used their moral authority, scientific and political ingenuity, and sheer persistence to attempt to heal the horrors that were left in the wake of the military engagement in Southeast Asia. Their intersecting story is one of reconciliation and personal redemption, embedded in a vivid portrait of Vietnam today, with all its startling collisions between past and present, in which one-time mortal enemies, in the endless shape-shifting of geopolitics, have been transformed into close allies and partners.
The Long Reckoning is being published on the fiftieth anniversary of the day the last American combat soldier left Vietnam.